Although toys and games continued to see growth in current value terms in 2018, this was slower than in all other years of the review period. This was due to the challenges faced by the economy, which remained uncertain, and lower consumer confidence, which was hampered by the introduction of VAT.
It is clear that technology drives demand within toys and games. Amongst the categories within traditional toys and games, those related to technology in some way recorded growth in 2018, such as remote control toys.
Mattel maintained its lead in toys and games in the United Arab Emirates in 2018. It held the lead in traditional toys and games with well-known global brands such as Fisher-Price, Barbie and Matchbox, amongst others.
Within traditional toys and games in the United Arab Emirates, the major distribution channels in 2018 were traditional toys and games stores and hypermarkets, whilst in video games, the leading channels were electronics and appliance specialist retailers, hypermarkets and internet retailing. Hypermarkets is an extremely popular channel for toys and games, as these outlets offer a large assortment of products all under one roof – often at heavily discounted prices.
As the population of the United Arab Emirates continues to increase, due to the influx of expatriates into the country, the demand for toys and games is expected to stabilise and return to better growth in current value terms in the forecast period. This will also be supported by economic stabilisation due to EXPO 2020 and returning consumer confidence as the VAT increase is absorbed and accepted.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Toys and Games market research database.